Stormlord Ardan’s restoration is complete as his family story comes together.
‘STORMLORD ARDAN’ TIER III ART
The final tier of the Stormlord Ardan skin set is coming in Update 1.15. Be ready to unlock him when Update 1.15 goes live!
STORMLORD ARDAN: TIER II LORE
The Stormlords held high office and presided over proceedings at court; they made laws and bickered with one another over the Storm Queen’s small favors, and they were discarded at the first sign of dissent or disloyalty. Only one Stormlord differed from the others. Rather than wear the lavish robes and jewels indicative of the Stormlords, Ardan wore power armor. He refused the offered apartment in the queen’s palace and instead kept a constant vigil outside of the queen’s chamber. For his devotion he was given some magic to keep him always awake, and the queen strung the key to her door around his neck with a silver chain. After that, he was called The Key, and the court forgot that he had been called anything else.
He had been a normal man, some whispered, a soldier, a father even. The magic twisted his mind, some said. Aged him from the core outward. There was gossip that the battery connected to his breastplate jolted power into his heart to keep him alive. He spoke to no one and cared for nothing, but they said he had once been capable of humanity. Capable of love. Handsome, the Queen’s Shield once said, her knuckles grazing his withered cheek. He knocked her to the ground for it and had to be restrained. His gray mouth opened to scream, but the effort produced only gasps and choking. That night he was fitted with a helmet to force breath into his decaying lungs, so if he despised the queen for forgiving the woman who had killed his wife, his expression gave away nothing. From that day until the end, the Queen’s Shield allowed him a wide berth.
For love he remained, for the few moments the queen granted him with Julia, frozen as he’d known her behind glass. It was Julia, and not the queen, whom he guarded without slumber. For those brief moments, The Key kept his grim vigil in silence.
STORMLORD ARDAN: TIER III LORE
On the night of revolution, The Key stood on the Storm Queen’s balcony watching the crowd escort the royal party up the mountain. He had managed to keep the looters from the queen’s chamber, but he would not be able to stop a rebel party of soldiers and mages.
When the masses reached the palace gate, The Key returned to the queen’s chamber. Unlike the rest of the palace, it was plain, white and cold, like a hospital room. In the cryogenic coffin, his wife wore white too, a beaded and embroidered gown that made her look like a strange, perfect doll. He removed his helmet along with its breathing apparatus, yanked out the battery over his heart. He slammed his fist into the coffin’s lock, then again, again and again until the glass splintered and the coffin’s lid sprang open and the frozen air flooded out in a harsh blast that made him cough, gasp, and cough again.
Julia was lighter than he remembered, the way a leaf is lighter after it has fallen and dried. She rested in his arms as she had so many nights, her face in his neck.
He spent the next hours dying, his feeble breaths fogging. He thought he should say something more. Remind her about how they’d met, or apologize, but he’d only be comforting himself, and he didn’t deserve comfort. He had abandoned his daughter in the hot rage of revenge; he had broken his promises. His eyes closed and he let go.
“He is a Stormlord, your highness.”
“Is he dead?”
“Lemme listen. … He’s breathing, but he’s checking out.”
“Who is this woman?”
“It looks like…”
“It’s her, Vox. It’s Mother. Is she …”
“I don’t hear her heartbeat.”
“Preserved in death all these years in her sister’s own room? This is sickening.”
“Celeste, look. It’s Dad. Dad! Dad, talk to me.”
Torchlight flashed before his eyes as he opened them a sliver and groaned.
“Hey Dad! Talk to me! Wake up!”
Ardan forced his eyes open. “Ju…” he muttered. “Jul…”
“It’s me, Dad. It’s Celeste. Hold on, we’re going to help you.” She wrapped her arms around him, kissed his gray cheek. “Our mother’s gift is keeping him alive. Quick, get that apparatus. That mask, there, get it over his mouth.”
“He will not last the night, your highness. The battery in his armor that kept his heart beating is dead.” The War Mage held up the battery Ardan had removed, its broken wires dangling.
“Look, Dad.” She held up her hand and smiled as a purple orb appeared on her palm, small as a marble and glowing. “You saved me. Now I can save you. Watch this.” She placed it over the hole where his battery had been and his insides jolted to life. Blood rushed through his heart; his head cleared as air flooded his lungs. “She’s gone, Dad, but we are here, and we still need you. We are together again, Dad. Stay with me. Stay …”